Clamping down on moped crime?

Comedian Michael McIntyre is latest target for scooter thugs

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Moped crime is no laughing matter

By Diane Cooke

Comedian Michael McIntyre was robbed by two men on a moped while he was parked outside his children's school in London on Monday.

The men smashed his car windows with a hammer before taking his £15,000 Rolex watch and fleeing, it was reported.

Mr McIntyre was stationary in his car when two males on a moped smashed the car windows with a hammer and stole his watch.

Police said no injuries were reported and no arrests have been made.

Although the comedian made light of it, the incident has highlighted a shocking rise in moped crime in the UK, but particularly in London.

Over the past two years, scooters and mopeds have become the vehicles of choice for mobile phone robberies, bag snatches and even acid attacks.

The increase has been dramatic. In the 12 months to June 2017, the Metropolitan police recorded 16,158 thefts by people using mopeds – more than three times as many as the 5,145 reported between July 2015 and June 2016. Violent crime rose sharply last year: the latest figures from the Office of National Statistics show an 18% increase in offences against the person.

The thousands of victims include Martin Lewis, founder of MoneySavingExpert.com, while Daniel Radcliffe, the Harry Potter actor, helped a tourist whose face was slashed by muggers stealing his bag. Five people were sprayed with acid by two people on mopeds last year, including a food delivery rider, Jabed Hussain, whose scooter was stolen.

Hussain led a protest alongside drivers for Deliveroo and UberEats outside parliament demanding action. They held up a banner saying “Stop acid attacks, bike theft, motorcycle crime”.

Kirsty Henderson is the director of Personal Safety London - a company that provides personal safety and self defence training. She advises several ways of how to avoid being targeted.

They include:

Staying off your phone - it's a temptation to opportunists.

Get a running belt - they can be useful for protecting valuables. Instead of keeping mobiles, credit cards or keys in a handbag, they can be kept safely hidden from sight.

Disguise your laptop by putting it in a sports bag or even a plastic bag.

She even suggests that women shouldn't wear heels to walk to and from work because escape is essential. Keeping away from the kerb and carrying your bag in the hand away from the street are other smart moves.

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